Everyone has heard of the Ashley Madison scandal and it has been water cooler fodder for weeks. Since the announcement of the security breach and the leak of Ashley Madison’s members information, not only have the members been on the defensive, but the company has been on the offensive trying to find the culprits that hacked their site. More than just being exposed to ones spouse for cheating, there are more long term repercussions for their indiscretions.
According the the recent New York Times article “Ashley Madison Users Face Threats of Blackmail and Identity Theft” written by Jonah Bromwich the 30 to 40 million members of the adultery website are now targets of scammers and extortionists that are eager for a big pay day. Extortion being a more blatant and obvious attempt at extracting money from members; this is also a problem that has arisen rather quickly. According the the public relations firm that specializes in managing reputations and developing strong online profiles Status Labs, they have gained several clients with just the problem. Darius Fisher the president of the firm said that clients have been threaten and demands of payment via bitcoins have been made. Thanks to in large part to scandals such as this most recent one, Status Labs is a rapidly growing company. Ones online reputation and presents is vital in today’s world.
The more serious threat or problematic threat from this information leak lies within more subtle scams that may not take place for several week or even months. The leak of information give scammers access to personal data that later can be used in identity theft and in a few months “victims” will be less vigilante and therefore more vulnerable. With the information hackers took they can install malware and other malicious software that will give them access to even more of the victims information in the future.
The obvious take away from this is that there is no such thing as privacy or security online. And it you don’t want people to find out about it, it is best not to post it, sign up for or even search it. Otherwise you may be in need of Status Labs services.